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 The Ender Series by Orson Scott Card 
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Pokemon Master
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My first exposure to Orson Scott Card was his book, Ender's Shadow, a parallel novel to Ender's Game. I read it, and loved it immediately, then followed up with the original. That was in 5th Grade. Back then, I was obsessed with the fascinating world of a bunch of children in a school in space, gliding around in zero-g while training to save the human race. Especially since Bean had such a horrible, terrible childhood with Achilles.

Then, in 8th grade, I made a discovery that blew my mind: Orson Scott Card (Card hereafter) wrote sequels to BOTH continuities. I first read Speaker for the Dead, followed by Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Then came the Shadow series, with Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant. Both series fascinated me; the one that follows the hero of the original duo, Ender, in his quest to redeem his unknowing crime of wiping out a sentient species, and the other following Bean, the little runt that grew into a giant while also finding a sense of happiness, despite his supposed lack of humanity.

About a week ago, I picked up a book that bridges the last two series, called Ender in Exile. To any fans of the Ender series, be it the Speaker series, or the Shadow series, YOU MUST READ THIS. It follows more closely Ender's first experiences in the colony where he discovers the Hive Queen, and his travel there. And my brother (who's also into the series) said that Card is writing another novel which will start out with Bean dying in his ship, and follows the travels/adventures/growth of his children.

Now, somebody's probably wondering why I've bothered writing all this, and the reason is simple: this book series is amazing, and I'd like to be able to talk about it with others, discussing plot points, morals presented, and other things related to it. Was Virlomi a monster?? Did Ender actually commit Xenocide, since he didn't know he wasn't playing a game? Must you love your enemies to destroy them?? Or, at least, just pop in to say, "I liked the series, and here's why." So, hopefully I'm not the only one to want to post about it!

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:51 pm
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Gym Leader
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Love the series; I read Ender's Game as a little kid, but didn't get into the post-Ender trilogy until much later. I think I read the Shadow series more or less as they came out, and enjoyed them as well. Ender in Exile gave some much needed closure to the Shadow series, as Shadow of the Giant left the fate of the last of Bean's children completely unresolved. They're a great series of books, and I'd highly recommend them to just about anyone.

One of the things that's always struck me as odd, given when I grew up, was how much of a presence Card (and a lot of other Sci-Fi writers of the pre-Berlin Wall era) assume the Soviet Union would still have hundreds of years into the future. The "new Warsaw Pact" plays a large role in the post-third invasion politics that Bean lands in the middle of, at least until the other nations start to rise.

And I don't think Virlomi was a monster; she was just somewhat insane, and taken in by the myth about her invincibility that she herself started.

It's interesting that you read the Shadow series first; as with a lot of other series, I think it makes the most sense when read in the order the books were published: Ender's Game, the latter Ender trilogy, the Shadow Series, and Ender in Exile. There are pieces of things in the Shadow books that don't have the same significance if you haven't read the other books first.

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:19 pm
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Pokemon Master
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Yeah, I didn't figure out some of the references in Ender's Shadow until I read Ender's game. For instance, who Dink Meeker, Alai, etc., were, as well as the situation with Bonzo Madrid. Fortunately, I've had time to reread them and get more than one take on it :p. But I agree with you in that reading them in order of when they were published would probably have made more sense. For instance, although chronologically Ender in Exile comes after Ender's Game (and even before that book actually ends), you have to read everything else first to understand what the significance of most of it is.

The thing that surprised me about Ender in Exile was the fact that Graff lived for so long afterwards. I won't what happens to him for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but it seemed interesting to me to watch his character growth as well. And, of course, Arkanian Delphiki is an interesting character to think about.

For the Warsaw Pact thing, that didn't really strike me until a) I took US History this year, and b) you brought it up. The significance of it just didn't really hit me. But now that I think about it, it is interesting. My US Hist. teacher mentioned that when the USSR broke up, all she could think was that she hadn't expected to see the end of it - if it ever did. Then things came out that it hadn't been working out as well as everyone outside had thought. So, I guess the vulnerability of the Warsaw Pact didn't really occur to anyone (I'm not presuming to know a ton about this; but this is just my impression based off of what I was taught).

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:26 am
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Pokemon Ranger
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Wow someone made a topic about Ender! I only read the first book, and did a fanfic of it for a book report. I'd read more, but I have 50 Star Trek novels to read first. And I don't know where to find the other books for very cheap.
My copy, which I picked up at a $5-fill-a-bag sale somewhere, is signed, probably by the author but I'm not sure, as I can't read it.

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Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:42 am
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Psychic Trainer
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I loved this series and I actually just now completed it today. But I still haven't actually completed the series.
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As you can see I am nowhere near finished, and I intend to read all of these. On the xenocide thing, I'm not sure if he committed xenocide or not. In Speaker for the Dead he makes the point where, game or not, he still chose to wipe out the planet. Right now I really want Orson to finish Shadows Alive because waiting is eating me alive right now.

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:46 pm
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